Tuesday, August 5, 2008

School Supplies For Needy Kids

Update: Sen. Steans' office has answered some questions with this email.

The volunteers from your site have been amazing. The office hours are 9 to 5, but we can arrange other evening times, if needed. We are accepting supplies until August 25. Also, I saw that someone asked about where our supplies are going. Our donations are going to Care for Real food pantry, which is an Edgewater organization, but the kids we are sponsoring are from Uptown, Edgewater and Rogers Park. They will have some 500 local kids stop by for school supplies this year.

Many kids who are returning to school can't afford basic school supplies. Many in Uptown are homeless. If you'd like to help out, there are three ways that we've heard about. Sen. Steans' office is researching more and will let us know:

  • Kits for Kidz. $11 buys a year of supplies for your choice of a primary schooler, middle schooler, or junior high student. $6 buys a backpack. This organization has teamed with CPS for a few years now.
  • State Rep. Harry Osterman and State Sen. Heather Steans will be hosting a school supply drop-off at our service office (5535 Broadway). We encourage donations of school supplies such as pens, pencils, folders, wide ruled notebook paper, supply boxes, highlighters, erasers, spiral notebooks, markers, colored pencils, crayons, assignment notebooks, Kleenex, glue sticks and scissors, which are all recommended for each student by the Chicago Public School system. There is also a high need for items such as TI-80 series calculators for high school students and backpacks.
  • In addition, Sen. Steans and Rep. Osterman are asking individuals, block clubs, churches, businesses, and other organizations to "adopt a student" and purchase that individual student's entire list of school supplies. Volunteers will get a list of supplies to purchase for their student and the student's gender, grade, and age. The lists run about $30 to $40 without a backpack and $60 with a backpack. These supplies will be distributed to the child by local organizations that help low-income children. Please e-mail Jen Walling at jen@heathersteans.com if you would like to participate in "Adopt-a-Student." All donations are tax deductible.


  1. anybody know what's up with all the news trucks around wilson and beacon? I saw lots of news crews carrying cameras around near the hull house and all between montrose and wilson on beacon...

  2. The governor is there about an anti-domestic violence law.

  3. BTW re: the school supply donations, I find it ironic that the efforts are being coordinated via our state rep and senator's offices, not the alderman's. I guess Shiller can't skim much off the top of a a few boxes of pens and notebooks. But Wilson Yard on the other hand...

  4. So much for all that hogwash about the Illinois Lottery funding education. If the public is being asked to "adopt" individual students in order for them to get get pencils and notebook paper, then the lottery should be eliminated. Im guessing these kids' parents spend more on the lottery in a year than the amount that complete strangers are being asked to pony up so their kids have something to write with.

    And once again, this problem is the result of Helen Shiller's "negligence." Yeesh.

    PS: "No Child Left Behind" my arse.

  5. Wow, pretty bleak, Billyjoe. The Illinois Lottery is designed to subsidize school costs such as buildings, teacher salaries, etc. for the entire state. We live in a neighborhood where incredibly low income children still need to bring what every child is expected to have -- pencils, notebooks, calculators. While I do not have any kids, I am happy to support the school system and students to learn and be successful. Someday, these kids will be running the world. Give them a break -- it is not their fault...

  6. BillyJoe - first off, No Child LEft Behind has NOTHING to do with CPS funding problems.

    The bigger problem is the amazing waste in the red tape and layer upon layer of administration.

    How many of those unsupervised, $20,000 state grants would it have taken to buy enough pencils and glue to supply the whole city?

    Classic liberal tactic, "more money will fix it" which is pure BS. Public schools waste billions every year. More money is NOT the solution.

  7. Well, whatever the politics of it is, some kids will be starting school without supplies because their families can't afford them.

    If you want to help out, there are options in the post about how you can.

  8. And even though we're off subject...Lottery profits themselves provide no additional funds for the schools. While lottery profits are deposited in the common school fund for the state, it is merely an accounting maneuver that actually reduces the amount of money that schools require from other state sources. If we eliminated the lottery, the state would have 2 choices: cut 1/2a billion dollars from the budget or raise other taxes.

  9. OK Guys, I just emailed Jen at Stearns office and offered to buy some school supplies for a kid.

    How many of these children, through no fault of their own, are in a situation where the parents won't or can't buy their supplies. Do you remember how embarassed you would be if you did not have even the basics for school?

    A lot of people complain on this site about the bad element in the area. Here is an opportunity to put up or shut up. Keep the kids in school, give them a chance.

    I challenge everyone on here who has ever complained about gangs, etc. to donate as I am to help keep a child out of that mess...

    .. I hope you all step up... I have, will you?

  10. I have never complained about gangs but I sure will donate.

  11. I agree uptownsuperhero. When I think about what the sum of $11, or $30-40 (for a year of supplies) means to me, vs. what it would mean to a child or that child's family, it makes me realize that donating is a no-brainer.

  12. does anyone know the date and time of the school supply drop off??

  13. Do we know which organizations will be distributing the supplies?

  14. If anyone is interested, supplies may also be dropped off at Alternatives, Inc. through the end of this week. (4730 N. Sheridan) We will be distributing supplies to youth from Uptown, Edgewater, and Rogers Park next Wednesday.

    Just drop them at the front desk and let them know they are for the Back to School Bash.


  15. 9-5 through the week won't work, are they open on Sat? I want to help out here.

    I'll emplore everyone to adopt one student. We all piss and moan about "thugs" etc on this blog, well, helping them in school can only help.

    Shoot, even if it just helps one kid end up graduating instead of dropping out it's worth every penny!

  16. The donations are being distributed by Care for Real, a great organization in Edgewater. Think about them the next time you have career-quality clothing to donate, too.

    Care for Real is open on Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. until l:00 p.m. Nine-to-Fivers can drop by and drop off any donation then.